We will soon be leaving an era where people pay memberships to fitness clubs and buy large contraptions to keep in their homes to help them stay in condition. My guess is in the future we will stay fit by walking and working. Power tools are wonderful in their efficiency. They let us do more work faster than we can ever do by hand. But I have a soft spot for hand tools. My favorite is the scythe.
I have a lot of grass to mow and this time of year it grows pretty fast. My grass, so called, is a variety of plants which if allowed to mature will turn into a beautiful field of grasses, daisies, dandelions, dock, yarrow and others unidentified. By mid-summer, uncut, our “grass” will be two to three feet high and create a mowing problem that will overwhelm my lawn mower. It’s reasonably fast work for my scythe.
So I can practice with the scythe, I intentionally let sections of grass grow to maturity. I pile the cut grass and let it rot a bit and use it for mulching.
Scything it is a very enjoyable activity. It’s great exercise but not terribly fatiguing. It requires concentration, a bending of the knees and a rotation of the torso.
I spent some pretty big bucks on a Shindaiwa Brush Cutter, a noisy, powerful, smelly machine that, with the proper blade attached, can cut down small diameter trees. It can also do a number on grassy fields, black berry bushes or be used as an edger/ trimmer. But believing that gas will not always be available for the Shindaiwa B 450 I decided to invest two hundred dollars in a high quality tool that will do many of the same things as the brush cutter or lawn mower.